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Voted The UK's Best Pillow For Neck Pain

300,000+ Happy Customers

Is Your Mattress Giving You Back Pain?

Back pain is a common complaint, especially after buying a new or different mattress. The average person spends approximately 2,900 hours asleep per year, so if your mattress isn’t suitable for your back, you’ll feel it.

It’s critical to investigate any back pain as soon as it occurs. Whether you think a soft bed is causing back pain or have a firm mattress, there are plenty of reasons to explore and remedy. Nothing beats a night of healthy sleep and a morning without pain!

If you keep waking up thinking, “Oh wow, my mattress hurts my back,” you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re exploring why some mattresses cause back pain, signs to watch out for, and how to choose the right mattress for your back health. Scroll down to dive in now.

How Mattresses Can Contribute To Back Pain

Back pain while sleeping can be caused by various issues, including a too-soft or too-firm mattress.

The main reason a mattress causes back pain is because it provides inefficient support to the spine, neck, and other pressure points. Proper spinal alignment while sleeping is critical for a painless experience and adequate rest.

Firm mattresses can cause back pain, as they won’t contour to the body’s shape, leading to awkward sleeping postures and, in some cases, disrupted blood flow. Soft mattresses don’t distribute pressure or weight evenly, which can put extra stress on your spine and neck.

Additionally, if you’re experiencing frequent lower back pain, you might be experiencing more sleep disturbance and an overall lower quality of rest (Alsaadi et al., 2010). This can lead to other issues, such as poor concentration, mood swings, and generally not feeling your best during the day.

7 Signs Your Mattress Might Be Causing Your Back Pain

If you’re wondering whether your new mattress is giving you back pain but aren’t quite sure, we’re here to help.

The signs in the checklist below indicate that you might have a problem with your mattress. If you’ve noticed a few of these, it might be time to switch up your bedding.

1. Waking Up With Back Pain

Consistently waking up with back pain is a sure sign that your mattress isn’t giving your back the support it needs. This is especially likely if you’ve changed your sleeping position or pillow but still feel pain in the mornings.

2. Saggy or Lumpy Mattress

Saggy or lumpy mattresses are more likely to cause back pain as they can’t give as much support as they’re expired. Periodically check your mattress for lumps and bumps to avoid this.

3. A Sinking Feeling

If you feel like you’re sinking into your mattress, it means it’s not giving your spine enough support.

4. Tossing and Turning All Night

Restless sleep indicates that you can’t find a healthy position, and your mattress is not promoting healthy sleep posture.

5. Your Mattress Is Old

Like all good things, mattresses can age and expire. You should change your mattress every ten years or when it feels uncomfortable (SanSone, n.d.).

6. Your Mattress Is New

Age isn’t the only warning sign. Our bodies need time to adjust to new mattresses, too. Try out your new mattress for at least two weeks before changing it.

7. You Can Feel the Springs

Finally, if you can feel your mattress's springs, bars, or support functions through the surface fabric, it needs to go. This is a sign it’s no longer working properly.

Choosing the Right Mattress for Your Back

Buying the perfect mattress is easier when you know what to look for. Here are some factors to consider to ensure a supportive mattress and a blissful night of sleep:

  • Firmness level — Do you want firm support, a soft feel, or a mix of both?
  • Material — For extra support, look for specialised materials. Memory foam and latex are popular alternatives. The benefits of memory foam include less back pain, a supported spine, and pressure reduction.
  • Warranties — Mattresses with generous warranties and trial periods allow you more time to see whether the mattress leaves you with back pain or not.
  • Expert advice — When mattress shopping, working with an in-store expert can help you find a product that suits your individual needs.

Extra Tips For Mattress Shopping

In addition to knowing what to look for, the following tips will help you successfully shop for and physically try out a new mattress.

  • Take your time to explore all the options available
  • If purchased, give the mattress two weeks to settle into your body
  • If in-store, make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothes and spend a few minutes lying on each mattress
  • Try laying on the mattress in different positions (e.g., side or back sleeping posture)
  • If sharing the mattress, ensure you and your partner try it out before buying

Other Bedroom Factors That Can Affect Back Pain

Though a common reason, mattresses aren’t the only cause of back pain. Your choice of pillows, sleeping position, and sleep quality can contribute to back pain (Van Looveren et al., 2021).

You can reduce the risk and symptoms of back pain from these factors by adapting your sleep hygiene with better posture and sleep aides. For example, back and side sleeping with an aligned spine can remove pressure and lead to a more comfortable night’s rest.

Swapping normal pillows to memory foam pillows can also help. Memory foam improves sleep quality, providing a longer sleep duration, less pain, and waking up feeling more well-rested (Danoff-Burg et al., 2023). This is because the material moulds around your body and keeps your spine and neck aligned while you rest.

The Original Groove Pillow is an excellent option if you want to improve your posture and sleep better without counting sheep. The Groove X Lower Back Pillow can also help you target pesky pain.

Conclusion

Waking up with any kind of pain is unpleasant, but luckily, you don’t have to put up with it. Take a moment to evaluate your mattress, pillows, and sleep environment, as they might not be as helpful as you think.

If your back pain worsens or doesn’t go away with at-home changes, seek professional medical assistance.

Switch up your sleep experience today. Explore Groove’s selection of premium memory foam pillows now. Or learn more about sleep health via the Groove blog.

Shop Groove Pillows

References

  • Alsaadi, S.M., McAuley, J.H., Hush, J.M. and Maher, C.G. (2010). Prevalence of sleep disturbance in patients with low back pain. European Spine Journal, 20(5), pp.737–743. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-010-1661-x.
  • ‌Danoff–Burg, S., Rus, H., Burke, C.B., Weaver, M.B., Carmon, K., Duvia Lara Ledesma and Rodrı́guezR. (2023). 0959 Use of a Memory Foam Mattress Improves Sleep Quality and Consistency. Sleep, 46(Supplement_1), pp.A422–A423. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsad077.0959.
  • SanSone, A. (n.d.). When Should You Replace Your Mattress? [online] Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes-personal-shopper/article/when-should-you-replace-your-mattress/ [Accessed 4 May 2024].
  • Van Looveren, E., Bilterys, T., Munneke, W., Cagnie, B., Ickmans, K., Mairesse, O., Malfliet, A., De Baets, L., Nijs, J., Goubert, D., Danneels, L., Moens, M. and Meeus, M. (2021). The Association between Sleep and Chronic Spinal Pain: A Systematic Review from the Last Decade. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 10(17), p.3836. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10173836.